Monday, 14 December 2015

New shoes from old, courtesy of Loake

I wrote in June about the appearance of a Loake shop in Warsaw, and the shoe manufacturer's promise to restore old pairs for the equivalent of £50. I took in one of my many pairs of Loakes for a 'long sole' rebuild, and three weeks later, they were ready for collection. Below: how this pair (bought in or around 1996) looked before, having sustained many Warsaw winters of salty snow and ice.

Below: and how they look today. Still the same uppers, but the entire sole and heel has been replaced, as have the shoes' linings, and new laces.

Below: this is the brand - my favourite shoes. Made by shoemakers, in England. Not by robots or children. These shoes will be good for many years; this is sustainable manufacturing.

Below: the key ingredient - a Goodyear-welted leather sole, with rubber finish for those mucky Jeziorki roadsides - pavements have still to reach this far-flung part of Warsaw. This is something no 'Mr Minit' style heel bar can ever provide - a tip-top quality shoe repair, hand-stitched - not merely glued.

Given that a new pair of Loakes cost 1,290 zlotys, spending a quarter of that on a new long sole every few years makes this a long-term investment. No here-today-gone-tomorrow fashions - Loakes are timeless in style and the mark of a gentleman. [Watch this BBC piece about Slow Fashion.] Loake Warsaw, ul. Chmielna 30 (in the courtyard). A stone's through from Kino Atlantic.

Since collecting this pair, I've handed in four more for reconstruction; a further four pairs wait at home.


Neighbour said...


May be interesting for you, but be quick!

The web shop is OK, original Loake shoes, I have bought there some products, no scam

Best regards,

Michael Dembinski said...

@ Neighbour -

Attractive prices! However, I'll not be buying any new shoes for quite a while - the notion of rebuilding cherished old shoes is appealing and economically sound. For 300zł, I have a pair of 'as-new' Loakes.